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Solar Powered Plane

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Desmond Yip

on 18 November 2013

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Transcript of Solar Powered Plane

Solar Powered Plane
Photic: the mechanics of solar radiation.
Electrical: in the photovoltaic cells, the batteries and the motors.
Chemical: inside the batteries.
Potential: when the plane gains altitude.
Mechanical: through the propulsion system.
Kinetic: when the plane gains speed.
Thermal: the various losses (friction, heating…) to be minimized at all costs.

To keep the wing as light as possible, a customised carbon fibre honeycomb sandwich structure is used.
In addition to charged batteries,the aircraft uses potential energy of height gained during the day to power its night flights.
With an energy density of 240Wh/kg, the lithium polymer accumulators weigh 400kg

The on-board computing system gathers and analyses hundreds of flight management parameters.
ENGR 2023: Dynamics
Prepared by:
Yeng Yong Xin
Desmond Yip
Solar aviation began with model aircrafts in the 1970s, not until 1980 that the first human flights were realized.

The first piloted solar flight was Gossamer Penguin . In 1981 the aircraft, with a maximum power of 2.5 KW flew 700km over 7hours.

This aircraft, with a maximum power of 2.5 kW, succeeded in crossing the Channel in 1981 and in quick succession covered distances of several hundred kilometers with an endurance of several hours.

The Solar Impulse is the first flight that flew right through the night with pilot on board.

History (CONT'D)
Sunseeker (1990) - Piloted by American Eric Raymond, crossed the United States with its longest run of 400 km. flying hours over a period of almost two months. The longest leg was 400 kilometers. The Sunseeker was a solar motorglider,.

Icare 2 (mid 1990's) - In the middle of the 1990s, several airplanes were built to participate in the ‘Berblinger’ competition. The aim was to be able to climb to an altitude of 450m with the aid of batteries and to maintain horizontal flight with solar energy power of at least 500W/m2 , corresponding to about half of the power emitted by the sun at midday on the equator.The prize was won in 1996 by Professeur Voit-Nitschmann’s team from Stuttgart University, with Icaré II (25 meters wingspan with 26 m² of solar cells.)

Specifications (HB-SIA)
General characteristics
Crew: 1
Length: 21.85 m (71.7 ft)
Wingspan: 63.4 m (208 ft)
Height: 6.40 m (21.0 ft)
Wing area: 11,628 photovoltaic cells rated at 45 kW peak: 200 m2 (2,200 sq ft)
Loaded weight: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb)
Max. takeoff weight: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb)
Powerplant: 4 × electric motors, powered by 4 x 21 kWh lithium-ion batteries (450 kg) , providing 7.5 kW (10 HP) each
Take-off speed: 35 kilometres per hour (22 mph)

Cruise speed: 70 kilometres per hour (43 mph)
Endurance: 36 hours (projected)
Service ceiling: 8,500 m (27,900 ft) with a
maximum altitude of 12,000 metres (39,000 ft)

Cruise speed: 70 kilometres per hour (43 mph)
Endurance: 36 hours (projected)
Service ceiling: 8,500 m (27,900 ft) with a
maximum altitude of 12,000 metres (39,000 ft)

Absolute height: 9235 m (30300 ft)
Height gain: 8744 m (28690 ft)
Duration: 26 hours, 10 minutes, 19 seconds
Free Distance along a course: 1116 km (693.5 miles)
Straight distance, pre-declared waypoints: 1099.3 km (683 miles)

Green Technology
Carbon fiber structure, propulsion chain, flight instrumentation, everything has been designed to save energy

No fuel needed to power the plane. Therefore there is no impact on the environment.

To create solar plane, they had to create new materials and new construction methods which resulted in more energy saving technologies.

According to Bernoulli's Principle, a region of fast moving fluid (a constricted area) produces a low pressure at that region. In the diagram shown, the wind blowing from the top of the plane experiences a slight constricted flow therefore the wind that blows across the top surface flows at a speed faster than the wind travelling at the bottom of the aerofoil. Therefore, the top surface has a lower pressure than the bottom surface of the aerofoil. Since fluid moves from a region of high pressure to a region of low pressure, the high pressure wind at the bottom pushes the aerofoil upwards in the direction of the low pressure region thus creating lift.
Helios (2001) - Even if it could not carry a pilot, one must not forget Helios, developed by the American company AeroVironment for NASA. This remote-controlled aircraft, with a wingspan of more than 70 meters, established a record altitude of nearly 30 000 meters in 2001. It was destroyed during flight two years later as a result of turbulence, and crashed into the Pacific Ocean.

Alan Cocconi (2005) - In 2005, Alan Cocconi, founder of AC Propulsion, succeeded in flying an unmanned airplane (drone) with a 5-metre wingspan for 48 hours non-stop, propelled entirely by solar energy. This was the first time a device of this type was able to fly through a whole night, thanks to the energy collected by, and stored in, the solar batteries mounted on the plane.

Zephyr (2010) - From 9 to 23 July 2010, the Anglo-US company QuinetiQ made a non-stop flight of 336 hours, 22 minutes (14 days) with its drone Zephyr (27 kg, wingspan 12m), at an altitude of 21,562 m
The propeller used by the solar powered plane acts as a wing in the horizontal direction. As the propeller rotates in the anti-clockwise direction, it produces a linear momentum perpendicular to the normal and tangential. This in turns pull the aircraft towards its direction and thus the plane move forward
The propeller is oriented in a certain angle known as the angle of attack. It is an angle of which an object comes in contact with the opposing flow of the fluid. As the angle of attack increaces, the lift increaces as well until it reaches the critical angle of attack where at any angle above this level would result in a drag due to the inconsistency of the fluid flowing around the object
Forces acting on the plane

Gravity: gravity acting straight down.

Thrust: Thrust is produced by the plane's engine and controlled by the throttle.

Lift and Drag: Both lift and drag are created by the air as the airplane travels through it.

Elevator Torque: When an elevator is moved into the airstream, it generates a up/down force applied at the tail of the plane as well as drag
Three lines run through an airplane and intersecting at right angles at the airplane’s center of gravity.

Roll: Rotation around the front-to-back axis
Pitch: Rotation around the side-to-side axis
Yaw: Rotation around the vertical axis

The Ailerons Control Roll
Two ailerons move in opposite directions, up and down.This causes the airplane to roll to the left or right. To turn the airplane, the pilot uses the ailerons to tilt the wings in the desired direction.

The Elevator Controls Pitch
The elevator tilts up or down, decreasing or increasing lift on the tail. This tilts the nose of the airplane up and down.

The Rudder Controls Yaw
The rudder swivels from side to side, pushing the tail in a left or right direction. The rudder along with the ailerons is used to turn the airplane.
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